Our 5th Edition Climate Action Plan Report Card is almost here! While we work behind the scenes to wrap it up, we want to share answers to our most frequently asked questions about the report. Keep reading to learn more.
What’s the CAP Report Card?
The Climate Action Plan Report Card assesses the San Diego region’s climate planning and climate action to guide the public and local governments. We took a deep dive into what our region’s 18 cities and the County are doing to fight the climate crisis and we’ll present these findings in our 5th Edition Report Card on April 13th.
Check out our past report cards here to learn more about what to expect.
What’s the purpose of the Report Card?
Through this report, we spur cities to take action and protect our region’s future with Climate Action Plans (CAPs) that include ambitious emissions reductions targets and best practices gleaned from models in the region.
We also arm residents in the community with a tool that increases transparency and enables them to hold their local governments accountable to reducing the pollution that causes climate change. Cities are a key component of climate action and this Report Card is an essential tool that will guide the direction and speed of local policies.
Ultimately, this report card provides cities in the San Diego region with data-driven best practices to enforce comprehensive plans that reflect current climate and community needs.
What’s new about this year’s CAP Report Card?
To better advance a thriving future for San Diego, we evaluated local CAPs with a new rubric that includes important updates in key areas including climate equity, clean energy, food systems, transportation and land use, and the green economy.
We know that our communities are still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, so this report card acknowledges the limitations and challenges that cities are facing as they work to update and improve outdated Climate Action Plans.
What’s a Climate Action Plan?
Climate Action Plans (CAPs) are comprehensive tools that help local governments mitigate the climate crisis. CAPs provide a roadmap for reducing greenhouse gas emissions ("GHGs") through the implementation of various strategies, goals, actions, and supporting measures.
CAPs are also opportunities for local governments to develop comprehensive climate strategies and implementation plans that meet the scale of the challenge the climate crisis poses and help to bring clean air, safe streets, clean energy, affordable homes, and economic benefits to local families and businesses.
CAPs can also provide models of bold and equitable climate solutions to be exported, scaled, and replicated at all levels of government.
How do Climate Action Plans work?
Climate Action Plans are long-range planning documents that:
quantify local governments’ current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions levels,
identify target levels to which they plan to reduce their emissions,
chart the strategies and measures that will enable local governments to reduce emissions to their targeted levels.
Typically, CAPs focus on strategies that help reduce emissions from these specific key categories: energy, transportation and land use, solid waste, water and wastewater, and carbon sequestration.
The best CAPs mandate GHG emissions reductions in exchange for allowing new residential and commercial projects to be streamlined under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). CEQA requires government agencies to inform the public about the potential environmental impacts of proposed projects, and to reduce those environmental impacts where possible.
When a Climate Action Plan is tied to CEQA, it moves beyond being an aspiration plan and, instead, becomes legally binding and enforceable under state law.
Stay tuned for our release on April 13th to learn how your city is doing. Sign up here to be the first to receive our report.
If you can, please join us for our CAP Report Card Release Press Conference next Wednesday, April 13th at 10 AM. RSVP here!